The Dow retreated from the record-setting 30,000 mark in early trading Wednesday, after crossing the symbolic threshold a day before as US stocks boom despite the coronavirus pandemic.
The record was praised by President Donald Trump and underscored how Wall Street, buoyed by the Federal Reserve's massive liquidity lines, has managed to power ahead even as the wider economy has wavered.
But about 30 minutes after the opening bell, the benchmark Dow Jones Industrial Average was 0.6 per centlower, back down to 29,864.67.
The broad-based S&P 500 retreated 0.3 per centto 3,623.96, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.2 per centto 12,064.92.
Traders were digesting a slew of data releases before the market opened, including new Labor Department weekly jobless claims data that increased for the second straight week, the first back-to-back rise since July.
New claims filed in the week ended November 21 were at 778,000, higher than expected and above the single worst week of the 2008-2010 global financial crisis.
However, the Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose by a better-than-expected 1.3 per centin October, led by a 79.1 per centsurge in defense aircraft and parts.
"Inventories are likely to fall during the holiday shopping season. As a result, we expect demand for manufacturers' goods to remain elevated next year," Mickey Levy of Berenberg Capital Markets said.
Among individual stocks, media company ViacomCBS was 2.2 per centlower after it announced it would sell the Simon & Schuster publishing house to Penguin Random House for $2.18 billion.